The permanent effects of recessions on child health: Evidence from Peru
Keywords:economic crises, early childhood development, health, Peru
We explore the permanent effects that recessions have on health-related outcomes of mothers and children in Peru. To account for possible self-selection in giving birth during recessions, we compare the infant mortality rates of siblings born in different phases of the economic cycle. A 1 percent decline in GDP per capita is associated with an increase in infant mortality rates between 0.30 and 0.39 percent. We find evidence that recessions also have a negative effect on long-term health measures for surviving children. The additional negative effect found on prenatal care suggests that the permanent effects start while children are in-utero.